Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation

Shannon can be at her daughter’s side during surgery thanks to associate gifts.

When Bon Secours Richmond Hope Therapy Center (RHT) temporarily closed in March, physical therapist Shannon Richard was both relieved and frightened. The mother of two is a breast cancer survivor, putting her at an increased risk for complications should she contract COVID-19. “I also thought of my oldest daughter who has Smith-Magenis syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. With her history, we can’t chance her getting sick,” Shannon explained.

Like so many, the Richard family has had their life turned upside down during the pandemic. Shannon’s husband, Darrell, is teaching from home and their daughters Makayla (15) and Ariana (13) are doing their best to keep up with schoolwork. Their normal help for Makayla’s range of needs from physical limitations to help with daily living skills cannot happen due to social distancing restrictions.

As for Shannon, she now connects with her RHT patients through telemedicine. Grateful for the opportunity to work and connect with her families, Shannon has been able to supplement her normal 35-hour work week with these appointments from home in addition to shifts at screening tables at the hospital.

But on those weeks where she fell short, Shannon feared she was going to have to draw from her PTO. Shannon shared, “I had been planning to use my PTO for my daughter’s upcoming surgery. I’ll need to spend at least three days with her in the hospital after her tethered spinal cord is repaired for the second time in seven years.” Shannon planned to spend three weeks caring for her daughter at home and ensuring that she healed safely given the medical complexity of her situation. The worry of not being able to support her family was real for Shannon.

Shannon’s director was able to help by securing restorative pay for Shannon and others on the RHT team. The hours that Shannon was unable to fill with work were covered through the Caring for Our Own Fund for associate hardships to keep Shannon whole. Shannon calls the help from the fund, “such a blessing.”

The Bon Secours Mercy Health Foundation’s support of the Caring for Our Own Fund allowed associates to support their colleagues across the ministry as they fight the pandemic together.

Shannon’s growing anxiety surrounding her daughter’s health was lessened because of the support of the Caring for Our Own Fund. To those who supported the fund, Shannon said, “I am so thankful to not have this worry anymore. Thank you.”